War and rumours of wars
Written by Bill Bradford
As I write, it is ANZAC Day. ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. ANZAC Day is an annual commemoration on the 25th of April, initially of fallen Australian and New Zealand soldiers in World War 1. However, it now is a memorial to all Australians and New Zealanders who have fallen in every war they have fought in.
ANZAC Day began this morning with a sunrise service at War Memorials around the country to coincide with the dawn landing on Gallipoli, Turkey in 1915. This was a military action that would attempt to open the Dardanelles to the allied navies and knock Turkey out of the war. Eight months later and 10,000 Australians dead the expedition was termed a failure. It left a legacy of Australian sacrifice in war. In this case a war that was not in the defence of our own country. In all, Australia lost 100,000 men in World War 1, only 13 years after it became a Federation. The population of Australia in 1915 was under 5 million. It was a significant loss for the county to lose that many of it's finest. Who knows what might have been without this enormous loss?
ANZAC Day doesn't glorify war. It remembers those who have sacrificed so much, but it brings us back to a fact of life. The real cause of war is a part of human psyche. According to Hans J. Morgenthau, 'Politics Among the Nations', it is the ultimate way man chooses to upset the balance of power and gain power himself. Today Russia says it is a defensive issue to bring Ukraine under its control, and the U.S. and Europe sees Russian military action as aggression and an attempt to tip the balance of power in their favour - power they lost 25 years ago. It seems they are on the move again, now that they are in a better financial position.
Jesus, warning of one of the signs approaching the end of the age, mentioned wars and rumours of war. Have you stopped to count the wars lately? You probably can't count all of them. Most of them are internal now. We get alarmed when they are between countries or alliances. There are those who have studied the incidence of wars and it is felt that the war cycle in the world is on the upward trend.
"Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask" (James 4:1-2).
At its most fundamental level, someone had to sit down and think things out about war and what was to be gained or lost. War begins when, in the mind of the perpetrator, they can gain or benefit, usually power over others, and thereby become the greatest among their peers. It doesn't matter whether it is among nations, competitors, or neighbours, the goal is the same - to win. Strictly from a human point of view, if you are going to go to war, the object is to win, something our western nations have forgotten. Jesus, himself said as much in Luke 14:31-32.
Jesus, however didn't intend for us to go to war. The final war of this age will be when "the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gather together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army" (Rev. 19:19). This will be the war to end all wars. After this final war, Jesus Christ will ensure peace.
"He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore." (Isa 2:4)
"War is hell", says one former ANZAC who was there. What was to be gained is something that exists only in the mind of lustful people. Others are put into the position to defend themselves and others. Let's look for the time when Jesus Christ will judge between the nations, (and individuals, too), and rebuke many people for their thought of war. Meanwhile, let us seek peace!
The world changed forever in 1945. That year, with the detonations of atomic bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, man for the first time demonstrated the frightening potential to destroy all human life. Since then our weapons have grown far more powerful and threatening. As we will see in this lesson, many of these threats to human survival play prominent roles in prophecies in the Bible.
Is the work of organized religion the Kingdom of God on earth today? This is the central idea that shapes the view of the religious world. But is this the same Kingdom of God the Bible describes? In this lesson you'll discover the biblical answers to these important questions.
Scripture tells us that we, too, need to undergo a transformation - a change, with God's help, from "the old man" to "the new man," a human being "renewed in knowledge" and "created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness" (Colossians 3:9-10; Ephesians 4:22-24). In this lesson we discuss this remarkable change, made possible by the transforming power of God's Spirit.
September - October 2013
This issue examines how history and prophecy will have a far greater impact on us than we might realise. Do the ancient prophecies really foretell the future, and how can we know? – The answers may surprise you.
Many Bible prophecies leave us in no doubt that increasingly cataclysmic events will occur before God's direct intervention in human affairs. The crucial question is, 'When?'. In this booklet we examine exactly what Jesus Christ, His apostles and the prophets of old really said about the perilous days they referred to as 'the time of the end'.
Is it acceptable to believe we are free to worship God as we wish, to refashion God in our own image? Or has God revealed an approach to life that He expects us to follow? Does it make any difference in the relationship we are supposed to have with Him? In this lesson we examine the answers to these questions and more from the Scriptures.
The Bible reveals much about an unseen power that works behind the scenes, shaping our world to its will and agenda. Are you being taken in?
In this booklet you will discover the real source behind so many of the world's problems. Learn about the being who is determined to bend your thinking to his own. — "My kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36).
In this booklet we will examine the Bible's teaching on conversion—it is not just a one-time event. Instead the Scriptures reveal that it is a process. The process begins with God's calling, followed by the key steps of repentance, baptism and the receiving of the Holy Spirit, finally climaxing with the return of Jesus Christ — when the dead in Christ are resurrected to immortality and given eternal life — the ultimate transformation!
Why do you exist? What is your destiny? Is there a reason, a purpose, for human life? These questions have baffled the greatest thinkers and philosophers down through the ages.